Shaquille O’Neal Thanks The Youngsters For Making His Reebok Sneakers Cool
The Big Diesel, Shaquille O'Neal, recently attended the Reebok Classic Breakout Camp and spoke to the youth about the dedication and hard work it takes to be a dominant force in the NBA. Shaq provided some great insight tips he learned throughout his career, while letting the young high school ball players ask him questions.
Shaq, also known now as DJ Diesel, spoke to XXL about his experience DJing his first gig in Las Vegas, the concept behind his successful Shaqnosis sneaker, the players he believes will be featured the most on next season's Shaqtin' A Fool, and he gave us his prediction on where Melo will land next season.
Tell me about the importance of this Reebok Classic Breakout Camp.
It's important for theses guys to come out and have a good time, showcase themselves in front of all these recruiters and all these local media outlets here. I wish I had all this shit when I was coming up. I would've been a trillionaire by now, trust me! If they had Twitter at that time I would've definitely been a fucking trillionaire.
How difficult was it for you to get recruited by a college basketball team?
I didn't get recruited till late senior year. That's because no one knew about me, I wasn't allowed to go to camps when I was in high school. Me being from New Jersey, all the New York guys got all the props, and they were good, but I eventually had to navigate my way in basketball and compete better than my opponents.
How do you feel about the overwhelming success your Reebok shoes have received with the newer generation?
I gotta give a shout out to all the youngsters for bringing our stuff back because if it wasn't for them, our shit would be elsewhere. For me as a dad, it's a good feeling because I'm still in the shoe business, so it's a good feeling to come in and my young babies pick my joints over all the other joints, and I know I'm competing against Durant, LeBron, Kobe and Carmelo. It's a great feeling especially when those Shaqnosis came back out my kid asked me for a pair of those. As a dad that made me feel proud, also as an older guy that's been there and done that, to see five or six young ballers rock that is a good thing, but I can't take all the credit. You gotta give the credit to the sneakerheads and the people that's been bringing the retro footwear back.
What's your favorite Reebok Shaq sneaker?
My favorite pair of Reebok kicks are the Shaqnosis because I made that up watching TV. I was watching the Twilight Zone one day, and the intro came on with that spiral visual on my big ass TV at the time. It was fucking up my eyes, and I was like, "What if I have a pair of shoes like that?" I then told Reebok about my idea, and they didn't want to do it at first. They told me those sneakers weren't going to sell, and they ended up being the No. 1 seller then and the No. 1 seller now.
You recently DJ'd your first gig in Vegas. What record did you kick things off with?
The first joint I came out to was "Believe Me" by Lil Wayne and Drake, then I hit them with an old joint, and then I came in with some Biggie joints. It was really cool. I had a great time, but in this life we live in, if people don't see you do it, they automatically think you can't do it. I've been doing this for a long time. In 1989 I had two 1200s. I just got away from DJing and then I caught myself trying to be a producer, but I could still go on the turntables, so I did it in Vegas at my club. I had a good time, and so did the crowd, so I look to do more gigs.
Your hilarious countdown, Shaqtin' A Fool, has been a hit on Inside The NBA. Which player do you think will be featured the most on your series this upcoming NBA season?
It's gonna be JaVale McGee and Kendrick Perkins.